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Ask A Trooper: What can you tell me about trailer hitch and ball sizes?

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, please send your questions in.

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Photo illustration / Shutterstock.com

Question: I read your article last week about trailer safety. I would like more information on trailer hitch ball sizes and why they have different sizes?

Answer: There are four different trailer hitch ball sizes. Each size has a different weight rating related to the trailer you are pulling. It is very important to make sure you always use the proper ball size with the trailer you are pulling. The ball size required for the trailer is stamped on the coupler of the trailer. If you use the wrong size ball, the trailer will not latch properly and could come disconnected. Once you have the ball connected to the coupler, you need to latch down and put a pin through the coupler to keep it secured.

Trailer hitch ball sizing:

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โ€ข A 1-7/8 inch ball has a gross towing weight of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. It is commonly used for light trailers like a utility trailer or small fishing boat.

โ€ข A 2 inch ball has a gross towing weight of 3,500 to 12,000 pounds. It is used for pulling campers and bigger boats.

โ€ข A 2-5/16 inch ball has a gross towing weight of 6,000 to 30,000 pounds. This size would be used for travel trailers and larger utility trailers.

โ€ข The largest size is a 3 inch ball which has a 30,000 pound rating. This is usually used on livestock or large travel trailers.

You can avoid a ticket โ€” and a crash โ€” if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

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A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow โ€“ Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow โ€“ Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).

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